Rebirth of an Empire "O Renascimento de um Império" v2.0

Lusitania

Donor
Great update, that was a very feasible transition from an almost secured peace to a Dutch-Portuguese war. Is the previous accord with the French and the general parties involved in the negotiations conclusive? IE Spain, Britain, France, etc. leaving warfare behind for the moment while the remaining conflict becomes a strictly Portuguese-Dutch affair where negotiations will be done strictly between the two powers involved? Or is there potential for another mediation occurring that sees other powers trying to get at pieces of the Dutch Empire once Portugal wins? ( ;) )
Thanks for the compliment.

The Portuguese went into the negotiations with such high hopes. They had accomplished much and been able to defeat France in Indian Ocean and draw in Atlantic. Such feat for small country was undoubtedly a huge morale boost and great accomplishment.

The Nantes negotiations primarily dealt with American issue and even then no resolution was forthcoming. The Spanish while exhausted were not ready to admit defeat in regards to Gibraltar. The American colonists were not willing to accept a curtailing of their right to expand westward. The British were not ready to admit defeat and French still wanted England to suffer more. The Dutch while no great ally of an independent US also wanted to see England suffer but more importantly was worried about Portuguese ascension and wanted it to back down. So you have a recipe for only half peace commitments.

As for the Dutch war we start posting tomorrow. Don’t want to ruin the anticipation.
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782 -1783) (1 of 6)

Lusitania

Donor
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782-1783) (1 of 6)

The final conflict of the Three-Years War was fought between September 1782 and December 1783 between the Portuguese and Dutch in the Atlantic, Indic and Spice Islands theaters, being a mostly maritime war but that also saw a small amount of land fighting and was, overall, pulled inside the umbrella of the 4th Anglo-Dutch war as Amsterdam also fought with London at the time. This made the Dutch defeat a foregone conclusion but made no guarantee of the damage the Dutch would cause before the end.

Although the official fighting between the two parties began officially in the ninth month of 1782, skirmishing had occurred all over the Indic Ocean for the lesser part of the previous eight months due to rising tensions between the private VOC and the semi-nationalized CIP.[1] In fact, this was the main source of tensions between the two parties, with conflicts dating back to the earlier two centuries.

Despite this, of the three foes fought by Portugal in the Three-Years War, the Dutch were ultimately the most unwilling adversary, as demonstrated by the evolution of Luso-Dutch relations in southern Africa[2] in the years prior to the conflict outbreak. Friction had occurred mostly between representatives in Indonesia wishing to expand their respective domains as well as the overall naval competition in Asia.



Setting


Luso-Dutch Possessions in the Spice Islands – 1774
Spheres of Influence in ‘grid’

Rivalry between Lisbon and Amsterdam was historical and epic, but also dormant as a result of the end of the First Luso-Dutch War and the treaty of Hague, in which Amsterdam recognized Portugal as the sovereign of ‘New Holland’ (Dutch Brazil) and also settled Java for the Dutch and Timor for the Portuguese in the Spice Islands, with both powers not allowed to claim the other’s prize in the future.

The reality was, however, that the two powers had great philosophical, irredentist and diplomatic resentment for one another; not only did they compete for spheres of influence all across Asia, but also with friendship with London, possessions in the South Atlantic Ocean (like Guyana, Brazil, Angola and South Africa), naval prestige and trade rivalries in general. Portuguese and Dutch cultures also differed in several key points that reflected themselves in economic and colonial policies, with the Dutch being more financially-oriented and the Portuguese just thirsty for annexation. Portuguese revanchists also saw Amsterdam as the original cause of the fall of Portugal’s dominion over Asia and, in particular, its monopoly over the Spice Islands and the middle man position between Japan and China (the real cause was Portugal’s own problems regarding society, values and corruption).

This isn’t to say the Low Countries did not befriend Portugal in a few historical points; Flemish/Frisian warriors had been a big part of Portugal’s Reconquista efforts and after the decline of the city of Antwerp as a trade center due to its capture by Spanish troops in the 16th century, the Republic of Holland immediately became a trade partner to the Kingdom of Portugal, at the time the fiercest rival of the newborn Spanish Empire. Throughout the 17th century during John IV’s realm, many efforts had been made to retie Luso-Dutch relations, with a trade treaty being signed in 1664 and the first Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam being built in 1675.

The latter half of the 18th century, however, saw a new declining beginning; at first Pombaline Period (1750-1762) saw the creation of a number of mercantilist laws and institutions by Pombal that directly opposed the interests of Free Trade defenders like Britain and Holland, something that belittled Portugal in the eyes of these two nations. The Pombaline Cabinet Period after this (1762-1777), saw more mediation that remedied the damage of the earlier period, but also saw a lot of administrative, military and industrial reinventions that put Portugal back on the competitive map.

An unexpected bridge would be built with the publication of the Tagus Declaration and the ‘Tentativa Teológica’, two political documents that saw Portugal distance itself from the traditional aristocratic models and the relationship with the Pope, something the northern Europeans sympathized with immensely. Sweden and England in particular had congratulated Lisbon at the time for aligning with their separate world and Britain even promised this political approximation would not lead to vulnerability to Spanish interventions. Moreover, the change in politics led to increased friendship between Portuguese and Dutch South Atlantic possessions, with the evolution of commerce between Luanda, Elmina, Pernambuco, Suriname and Kaapstad being the most notable sign of this.

This, however, was eclipsed by the 1762-1782 period of territorial and diplomatic expansion from Portugal in Brazil, Mazagan, Angola-Congo and Western India. The conquests made in this phase were alarming to England and downright threatening to Holland, infringing on at least three separate influence spheres of Amsterdam and solidifying Portugal’s colonial and trade positions. If that was not bad enough, the growth of the LCC and PCC (Lisbon and Porto’s Chambers of Commerce) as serious bureaucratic institutions of trade allowed Portugal to dictate its own contracts and trade terms in a centralized, agreeable manner which put its merchants back on the world trade’s prestige list. Exportations and Importations through Portuguese possessions began to become seriously important trade links, allowing for the creation of a whole new array of outposts ranging from Rio de Janeiro to Hamburg.[3]

This meant that exportations from sub-equator colonies to the North and Baltic Seas began to be handled by Portuguese markets directly, as they now handled the necessary organization, risk-reducing and fleets correctly and Germanic ports trusted Portuguese ships and fleets to treat them respectfully and by the book. By 1777, Portugal was an undeniably important trade alternative from England and Holland to German and Scandinavian countries, as far as importations were concerned, leading to new lucrative bilateral relations that affected every aspect of Portuguese diplomacy and society.[4] Important trade figures began moving to Lisbon to invest and keep up with events directly, bringing human resources as direct evidence of the changing prestige balance. The ‘Real’ coin returned to commercial highlight, keeping inflation under control thanks to a much healthier economy and new reliable mints, and investors believed that introducing paper money and central banking would soon lead to a new era of economic expansion.

In 1780, as part of its efforts to appease France, Portugal signed the first contract selling weapons to Paris. Although this contract was part of a diplomatic effort and would be ultimately voided by the outbreak of the Luso-French Maritime War, it was still a big sign of changing trade ties, as the traditional weapon supplier to France was Holland itself. This was occurring despite the Low Countries being incomparably closer to Paris and being a better small arm manufacturer, mostly thanks to Portugal being the only organized drilled-barrel producer other than France. The rivalry of trade power was, therefore, growing fiercer by the day.

Back in 1772, Timor was part of an ineffective and indirect administrative construction known as the Province of Macau and Timor which separated the peripheral possessions from Goa due to political differences. In 1774, however, the province of Timor & Flores was created due to the growth of scientific interest in Southeast Asia and the need for more local administration, thus separating it from Macau as well. The growing Portuguese involvement was looked upon with suspicion as well as hostility by the Dutch and the Dutch East Indies Company based in Batavia mostly due to parallel actions occurring in Goa at the time and resulting in the military expansion of the colony at the expense of the Maratha Confederacy and the Mysore Kingdom.


In 1780 Timor’s economic development stabilized into a positive, making it the first organized European province in the area which followed a direct annexation mentality without economic repercussions.[5] Granted, this was mostly due to a lack of developed native societies in the Sumba islands, but it was still a feat that freed a lot of hands towards further expansion. It became believed in Batavia by this time that Portugal was interested in expanding its only South-East Asian possession.

The arrival of Dutch reinforcements in Batavia provided them with the means to attempt to remove the last Portuguese presence in these islands and obtain a colonial monopoly in Indonesia. In 1780 the Dutch funded the first settling in Kupang, establishing a colony in West Timor. This was taken as a direct affront by Portugal, who argued Timor and Flores was their claim since the 1661 Treaty of Hague. Between this year and 1782 the Dutch continuously invested into Kupang despite Portuguese protests. Mostly thanks to its navy being concentrated in India to fight the French and Maratha, however, Lisbon was unable to file serious objections as it would put Dili at risk.

That same year, however, by the length of a hair, Portugal fought back the French fleets away from Angola, Goa and even metropolitan Portugal itself, causing so much damage they forced Paris to agree to a ceasefire, opening the way for the Nantes Negotiations. In this scenario, Portugal was able to put its objection forth safely and demand among the international parties that the Dutch ceased all their claims to any of the Sunda Islands. This demand, however, was retracted by King Joseph II himself, who wished to end the conflict for the country as soon as possible after the tense situation that had been the ‘Nightmare at Sea’, instead asking the diplomats to come to terms with the Dutch in peaceful fashion.

Queen Charlotte objected this at the time, claiming her husband was being naïve and the war would continue anyway, and her prophecy would come true when the rivalries fomented by England with Amsterdam brought forth the demand that Portugal should side with England in the 4th Anglo-Dutch War. This was a personal failure and humiliation to King Joseph II, whose actions directly led to a fallback for the whole nation, which had weakened its claims to its islands to pitch for a peace that would not come.


It was not wise to ignore Britain’s call to arms, either, as London had a good argument to claim Portugal had betrayed it in the Mahé affair. Therefore, both to placate London’s fury and defend itself, Portugal had no choice but to declare war on Holland.

War Outbreak


Much like the Maritime war with France, this conflict erupted in desynchronized faction throughout the world. The VOC and the Dutch colonies, however, were already on high alert by May 1782 due to the ongoing conflict with England over Amsterdam recognizing the Continental Congress in April of that year and so its navies were quick to adapt to Portugal’s entrance in the conflict. The Republic attempted to also use this development to convince Russia to finally honor its military agreements with Amsterdam, something they had failed to do so far due to Catherine II not being keen to join the war and due to Britain very fiercely portraying the Dutch as a non-neutral party thanks to their secret agreements with the Americans.

At the time, however, Portugal enjoyed profitable trade relations with St. Petersburg and Okhotsk, the two extreme-point ports of the Russian Empire’s length. The Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between the two had been signed recently and had turned Portugal and Russia into profitable partners in Far-Eastern colonial development, with Okhotsk supplying Macau with ships and fur and Macau ensuring Chinese goods flow through despite any Sino-Russian disagreements. Okhotsk in particular had a favorable outlook on Portuguese representatives due to their relatively close history with governor Anton de Vieira, the man recognized by 1745 as the most competent servant of Russia in all of its Far East possessions. Portugal’s navy was also now close to the size of Russia, making it a potentially dangerous threat to contend with alongside the British. Catherine II, therefore, saw Portugal’s entrance in the conflict as further evidence of Amsterdam being a thorn to her political ambitions and insisted on not joining the war.

The start of the war was therefore already a disaster for the Dutch as they were no match for the combined might of the British and Portuguese. Forced to fight a war against both countries on a worldwide scale, the Dutch and VOC unanimously agreed the wiser strategy was to deliver a knockout punch to Portugal before focusing their efforts in turtling Britain. This was a valid path to take and, if carefully executed, could very well destroy all of Portugal’s most recent conquests and further eclipse it from the spots in the sun.



[1] ‘Companhia das Indias Portuguesas’, Portuguese India Company.

[2] See Section: The Three-Years War (1780 – 1783) – The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782 -1783) – The African Theatre – Guinea & Cape.

[3] See Section: Rebirth of Empire (Part 2 of 2) – The last Years of Pombal (1777 – 1782) – Minister of Finance & Commerce – The ‘Hamburg’ Depot & The Luso-German Treaty of Commerce.

[4] See Sections:
Rebirth of Empire (Part 2 of 2) – The last Years of Pombal (1777 – 1782) – Monarchial Order – The Broken Salt Act & the Monopoly Breakdown.
The Three-Year War (1780 -1783) – The Luso-French Maritime War (1780 – 1782) – Atlantic Theatre (1780 – 1782) – The Nightmare at Sea & The Catastrophe at Cantabria.
[5] See Section: Rebirth of Empire (Part 2 of 2) – The Last years of Pombal (1777 – 1782) – Ministry of Navy & Colonial Affairs – Flores & Timor Province Reform & Scientific Exploration.


Note:
After the collapse of the Nantes Negotiations the Portuguese found themselves at war once again, this time against Portuguese Arch nemeses the Dutch who had used the Iberian Union to steal a huge part of Portugal's India and East Indies. It was only through sheer determination that Brazil and not all of Portuguese Indian and East Indies possessions were lost but what had been left was a mere shadow. Now almost 150 years later the hard won new acquisitions by sheer guts and blood were once again at risk. The Dutch seeing the Portuguese as the weaker of the two empires it was fighting decided to go against the Portuguese before trying to take on the British. How will the Portuguese fare? Will we again have loses and despair or will this be Portugal's time for revenge and retribution? Questions/Comments

Please return on May 31 as we post the 2nd part in The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) -The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782-1783).
 
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And now the bullets begin to fly. I suppose it was too much to ask for Portugal to regain their place in the spotlight without attracting a host of new problems in the form of renewed aggression from their European rivals. You did a good job explaining how Portugal's newfound economic confidence granted them no favors with the Low Countries.

The Dutch are in a tight spot right now as well though. It must be disheartening for them to fight when almost everyone knows a miracle is required to gain victory - but Portugal isn't that better off. With the Portuguese navy barely recovering from their tense naval war against France, having to go up against a fresh and ready fleet must be a real pain in the neck.
 
I don't know if I am the only one, but I think that the text could expand a little on how and why Joseph II humiliated himself in the negotiations that lead to war with the Dutchs .
 

Lusitania

Donor
And now the bullets begin to fly. I suppose it was too much to ask for Portugal to regain their place in the spotlight without attracting a host of new problems in the form of renewed aggression from their European rivals. You did a good job explaining how Portugal's newfound economic confidence granted them no favors with the Low Countries.

The Dutch are in a tight spot right now as well though. It must be disheartening for them to fight when almost everyone knows a miracle is required to gain victory - but Portugal isn't that better off. With the Portuguese navy barely recovering from their tense naval war against France, having to go up against a fresh and ready fleet must be a real pain in the neck.
Yes Dutch strategists believed that their best strategy was to take on the Portuguese whom most believed had been lucky against the French (or French incompetent) ) and that Portuguese were both overstretched and exhausted. The Dutch VOC Navy in both India and East Indies felt it would have the upper hand in battles. We will soon see if they right

hmmmm are they gonna strike right at Portugal or India?
While neither European countries' territory was at stake all of each countries colonial territory was,

I don't know if I am the only one, but I think that the text could expand a little on how and why Joseph II humiliated himself in the negotiations that lead to war with the Dutchs .
The reference had been in part due to King Joseph II's naïve diplomatic actions during the Nantes Negotiations in which his instructions had aggravated the Dutch insecurities and caused the outbreak of war between the two countries. While it is true that war between the two was inevitable the fact that the Dutch took offense to the Portuguese positions and attitude was seen as diplomatic failure on the Portuguese negotiating team which had been taking its lead from the inexperienced king.
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782 -1783) (2 of 6)

Lusitania

Donor
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782-1783) (2 of 6)

The East Indies Theatre – India & Spice Islands

By 1782, the bulk of Portugal’s fleet in Asia was focused around the ‘Old Ports’, namely the three cities of Cannanore, Calecute and Mangalore with the most recent addition of captured Mahé. This was due to the most recent spats with French India which resulted in the capture of Mahé, an event that was still the source of great diplomatic friction between the established European quadrumvirate of powers debating the future of the subcontinent in Nantes.

With the resolution of the 1781 Treaty of Satari, the Portuguese had become the most powerful of the four countries in western India, surpassing Britain by a factor of land mass, soft power, settlement and trade control despite a clear naval power disadvantage. The expansion of Surat and Bombay did little to counter this, as even though they made excellent ports Bombay had been cut off completely from matters and coins north of the Deccan by Damão and the combined control of the two new Portuguese provinces over the Cambay threatened to smother Surat itself in the long run. This made Portugal the uncontested European power in northwestern India, therefore free to turn the attention of its growing naval power southwards, towards the Comorin Cape and Ceylon.



Indian Subcontinent – 1782
Green: Goa Vice-Royalty
White: Mysore Kingdom
Yellow: Maratha Confederacy
Red: British East Indies
Orange: Dutch Coromandel (British-Captured) & Dutch Malabar
Blue: French Mahé (Portuguese-Captured) & Pondicherry
Purple: Travancore
Magenta: Hyderabad
Cyan: Carnatic Coast (Mysore-Captured)
Sri-Lanka - 1782
Orange: Dutch Ceylon
Dark Purple: Kandy Kingdom

The Dutch claim that this constituted a threat to Malabar was not unfounded, even as early as 1781; the Netherlands had been losing factories, ships and forts to the English since the early 1700s, they had lost virtually all their ports in the Cambay to either the natives, the British or the weather (the Cambay port in particular was abandoned cause low tides made it inaccessible by ships), and their control over the restless island of Ceylon was growing stale and vulnerable to attack, forcing them to bring in further mercenaries, particularly the Swiss, to bolster their land presence. The Calcutta office had been encroaching the Dutch India core territory from the Northeast and now England’s main ally, Portugal, was encroaching them from the Northwest, pincer-ing Dutch India as a whole in the Comorin Cape. It was unlikely the Netherlands would be able to defend Cochin and Quillon, two settlements the Portuguese also held irredentist feelings over, if a direct naval attack was conducted while at the same time safeguarding against England’s machinations.

Colonial Intrigue & The Kings of Kandy (1760-1780)

The pouring of troops into the island in 1762, however, had incited the wrath of the Kandy King Kirti Rajasinha, who began conspiring with the British in Madras to expel the Dutch from the land in exchange for a trade monopoly on their unique goods (cinnamon, pepper and betel nut but also potentially minerals). This effort ultimately failed due to the effective spy network the Dutch possessed in the area, which bust the conspiracy open despite John Pybus’ successful contact with Kirti.

The Dutch and the British, however, were not the only ones with spies in the area; with the establishment of PRP offices in Panjim shortly after this same year, the now-deceased Vice-Roy Manuel de Albuquerque e Castro had expanded the information networking vastly to accommodate his administrative efforts and learned of the intrigue in Ceylon not but a few years after John Pybus’ journey and began entering in contact with throne pretender Rajadhi Rajasinha, brother of the current Kandy King, to establish Portuguese influence in the subcontinent’s southern edge.



Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha
Pretender and King of Kandy (1782 – onward)

The objective was of fomenting smuggling and mercenary contacts in Ceylon so as to weaken the competition against the fledgling Portuguese India Company and support Goan defenses while the Brigades were being still built up and regulated by then Minister of War Count William Lippe, but the contacts and vigilance endured well into the 1770s and Frederick Holstein’s term as Vice-Roy, a man of much more aggressive policies. During these years, the Goa office began conspiring to turn the Kandy King away from British influence to its own, offering to support the Kandy dynasty’s claim to Ceylon should they succeed in taking any land from the Dutch (which would not come to pass).

This still meant that, by the time Goa asserted its conquests in Northwestern India and recovered its military prestige, the territory had a finger on the Ceylonese intrigue pie. The King of Kandy, however, had no interest in colluding with either the Portuguese or the British as he had signed with Dutch Governor Falck after his failed conspiracy the 1766 Colombo Treaty, which limited Dutch control to the coast, granted them their desired trade rights, compensated Kirthisri with profits from the elephant trade and forbid him from colluding with any powers other than the Dutch, turning them into a content puppet state.

His brother, however, was a different story and Goa’s vision for the incoming wars surpassed the mere notion of exchanging Ceylon from one European hand to the other; should the island somehow be freed from the Dutch grip with Goan support, it could be turned into a free exchange area in the region at a time when the British were slowly seizing their own monopoly and its riches could be directly traded with Goa’s rising goods production, securing an ally in India but renouncing Portugal’s revanchist claims. It was certainly a better situation than letting it stay in Dutch hands or fall to the British and it would compensate Portugal for the collapse of the Luso-Maratha friendship.

This, however, put every single party at risk of British intervention but with the outbreak of the Three-Years War, Goa was left with little choice but to send out its admirals to capture French Mahé, creating a direct sea free way to Dutch Malabar and potentially Ceylon. The Portuguese themselves were also not worry-free, as the removal of the French from Mahé put them directly in the way of any potential Dutch surprise attack which, considering the tension in the region, could occur even while unaware of the negotiations in Nantes. Vice-Admiral “Hammershark” Rebelo stayed vigilant in Mahé with his eleven warships and awaited reinforcements and orders from the north with how to proceed.


Wartime & Skirmishing (1781)

Thanks to the actions of admiral Rebelo, French Admiral Struffen agreed to a Franco-Portuguese ceasefire in India and the handover of Mahé in return for being allowed to sail against the British at Pondicherry at full force. The political objective was to conserve strength at the same time as pushing the British away from Southern India, preferably beyond the Pondicherry line, to prevent them from growing closer to complete their long-term project of uniting their possessions coast-to-coast, establish a full monopoly and push away all rivals from the subcontinent.

At the time, Admiral Hughes had already captured the port of Trincomalee, the best port in the Bay of Bengal, establishing a foothold in Ceylon for the first time, not to mention the British on the mainland seized all the colonies the Dutch had left on the eastern subcontinent coast, destroying Dutch Coromandel. As soon as he departed from Mahé, however, Admiral Struffen freed Trincomalee within the month at the same time news of the conflict finally reached Sumatra and hostilities began in the Spice Islands as well and met Hughes for the first time in Ceylon’s Sea, where he defeated the vanguard of the British fleet.



Struffen defeats Hughes, pushing the British away from Dutch Ceylon and Dutch Cochin

This victory was vital for the French, the Dutch and, ironically, the allies of Britain, the Portuguese, since it meant Southern Indian ports would be free of Union Jacks for some more time. Vice-Roy Frederick transferred the command of naval matters from Goa’s office to Vice-Admiral Rebelo after the success of the Mahé’s negotiations, something that would allow ‘Hammershark’ to act freely in the interwar period to project the Portuguese grand strategy.

After Mahé was finally re-garrisoned and hearing the VOC had, for the first time in its history, filed for help from the Dutch national navy itself in this war, Rebelo sailed southwards to Cochin with his eleven warships to offer the Dutch his temporary protection, arguing that he was in agreement with the French (which he technically was) and wished to impede a pirate outbreak that could endanger Mangalore. The Dutch promptly refused, arguing this was a thinly veiled attempt from the Portuguese to impose an informal blockade and prepare for war (which at the time they were not). Vice-Admiral Rebelo, however, said ‘this offer was not negotiable, as the destruction of Dutch Malabar would bring their mutual enemies to Goa’s doorstep’.

This raised the already exacerbated tensions to even higher levels and the governor of Cochin sent envoys to Colombo to warn Governor Falck of the situation, requesting counteraction. This prompted the interception of the message and the official breach of trust between the two parties and Rebelo ordered his ships to encircle Dutch Malabar, beginning the unofficial blockade for real. Knowing the Kochi fort had been weakened since Hyder Ali’s attacks on the Dutch colonies, Rebelo ordered his lesser ships to stay in the area while he sailed further south with his core firepower towards Colombo.

A total of three warships and twenty lesser vessels, mostly reinforcements from Goa recently arrived, conducted the stalking on the string of Dutch possessions along Malabar but not a single shot was fired, or ship was seized. The objective was merely to put these ports on hold for the meantime, ensuring no communication got in or out, while the bulk of Rebelo’s fleet headed for Colombo itself, the capital of Dutch India.



Rebelo’s Beira Prince meets the Colombo Harbor and the VOC undermanned fleet

In September 1781, much like at Mahé, Rebelo faced the core of the enemy’s local fleet at their own home turf, but the Dutch found themselves in a predicament as their actual forces had been in a weakened state in the area for a while as a result of growing administration pains, smuggling and profit decreases. ‘Hammershark’ announced himself to the Dutch as being on a mission to protect a buffer state between Goa and its enemies, but by this time it was clear to Governor Falck that a mere declaration of war was all that stopped this situation from being an official blockade.

It was also unlikely this situation would develop in Portuguese favor; with its forces spread out to ensure all of western Dutch India was under vigilance the Vice-Admiral had no way to deliver a definite attack, much less on the enemy’s capital, something that inspired the Dutch governor to request Rebelo to “quit the cowardly skirmishing and go parade his ships somewhere else”. Attacking Ceylon with little over eight warships was truly insane, at least from the Portuguese optic, even if British assistance was being just held back by Struffen’s fighting.

The true intent of all this, however, was the grant Rebelo the advantage in theater awareness, as he now had all major ports of western Dutch India under vigil. With this accomplished, Rebelo took an even greater risk; he ordered none other than his Rear Admiral William ‘Piranha’ Távora to detach himself from the core fleet and take eight warships with him to the Southeast Asian seas, where the VOC was already preparing for war.



Early Conflict Maneuvers
Light Green: VA Rebelo’s Core Fleet
Dark Green: RA William ‘Piranha’ Detachment to Sumatra
Blue: Struffen’s Fleet
Red: Hughes Fleet

Traced Green: Portuguese soft blockades


Note:
After the collapse of the Nantes Negotiations the Portuguese found themselves at war once again, this time against Portuguese Arch nemeses the Dutch who had used the Iberian Union to steal a huge part of Portugal's India and East Indies. It was only through sheer determination that Brazil and not all of Portuguese Indian and East Indies possessions were lost but what had been left was a mere shadow. Now almost 150 years later the hard won new acquisitions by sheer guts and blood were once again at risk. The Dutch seeing the Portuguese as the weaker of the two empires it was fighting decided to go against the Portuguese before trying to take on the British. How will the Portuguese fare? Will we again have loses and despair or will this be Portugal's time for revenge and retribution?

In the second part of the war with the Dutch we establish that while the Portuguese have been at war for several years their navy is up for the task and that Portuguese naval commanders are equal to any Dutch commanders. We have also noted that the Portuguese having negotiated a cease fire with the French in exchange for Mahe are free to engage the Dutch without worry about additional players, meanwhile the Dutch are also having to deal with the British. Will they have the means to fight two adversaries? Questions/Comments


Please return on JUne 14 as we post the 3rd part in The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) -The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782-1783).
 
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thanks for writing this timeline it so well done and reaserched thank you, it for great timeline like this is why I joined the site
 
Interesting developments, by the looks of it the Dutch aren't strong enough to keep territories in India but I will wait to see.

Portugal and Kandy in half good terms? That is also interesting considering their sour relationship after Dona Catarina was deposed.

I suppose we are going to see the East Indies next? It will be harder there especially with the bulk of the Portuguese Navy in India...
 

Lusitania

Donor
thanks for writing this timeline it so well done and reaserched thank you, it for great timeline like this is why I joined the site
on behalf of both of us thank you although I must give Thrudgelmir2333 most of the praise. It was he who gave a lot of his time and hard work to make it this good.

Interesting developments, by the looks of it the Dutch aren't strong enough to keep territories in India but I will wait to see.

Portugal and Kandy in half good terms? That is also interesting considering their sour relationship after Dona Catarina was deposed.

I suppose we are going to see the East Indies next? It will be harder there especially with the bulk of the Portuguese Navy in India...
Yes the Dutch situation against the Portuguese is not much different than it was against the British alone. How the Dutch fare in the Indian Subcontinent will be an interesting topic. Much more next few posts. If the Portuguese do get the upper hand in the conflict in the Indian Subcontinent what would Portuguese position be and do they want to remove Dutch or allow them to continue?

As for Portuguese and Kandy they are not at war but Portuguese attempts at diplomatic intrigue did not advance Portuguese position in the country.

Yes per the last section of the post the Portuguese ware sending an expedition from India to the East Indies.
 
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Yes the Dutch situation against the Portuguese is not much different than it was against the British alone. How the Dutch fare in the Indian Subcontinent will be an interesting topic. Much more next few posts. If the Portuguese do get the upper hand in the conflict in the Indian Subcontinent what would Portuguese position be and do they want to remove Dutch or allow them to continue?

As for Portuguese and Kandy they are not at war but Portuguese attempts at diplomatic intrigue did not advance Portuguese position in the country.

Yes per the last section of the post the Portuguese ware sending an expedition from India to the East Indies.
I think the Portuguese might take the Dutch out of the Malabar, they are gaining a lot of power and influence there and they pretty much took the French out already so this is a big chance for them. I think they would try to take them out of Ceylon but that would be trickier and I would say they would leave the Dutch in the Coromandel to counter-balance the English and French.
 

Lusitania

Donor
I think the Portuguese might take the Dutch out of the Malabar, they are gaining a lot of power and influence there and they pretty much took the French out already so this is a big chance for them. I think they would try to take them out of Ceylon but that would be trickier and I would say they would leave the Dutch in the Coromandel to counter-balance the English and French.
While at this moment I won’t confirm or deny anything you do present a good analysis of the Portuguese-Dutch situation and their strength and weaknesses. The Portuguese are strongest on the west coast and Dutch strongest in Ceylon. While it would be a stretch to imagine Portuguese conquering Dutch possessions in the East coast of Indian subcontinent
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782 -1783) (3 of 6)

Lusitania

Donor
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782-1783) (3 of 6)

South East Asia Rivalry & Growing Tensions (1780-1781)

By 1775 the Dutch had started becoming alarmed at the growing British influence in this area. Headquartered in Fort Marlborough, the British directors worked diligently to undermine the influence of the VOC in Sumatra in particular, where Dutch Padang was settled but also where many independent native countries still decided for themselves who to trade with and lend their troops. Combined with the age of poorer financial results and weaker soft power the Dutch were facing, the VOC was convinced that expanding Dutch dominion in the South East Asian Sea was vital to assert their power.

Their strategy had become three-fold:

  1. To expand direct dominions both to new islands and in already settled areas;
  2. To checkmate the expansion of Spanish, British and Portuguese Spice Islands with carefully placed enclaves;
  3. To ultimately refinance Dutch India & Indonesia so as to rebuild the fleet and re-conquer profits;
Compared to the British, who territorially-speaking were just establishing themselves, and to the Portuguese and Spaniards, who had both sacrificed early-on colonial smart development for the sake of direct assimilation, the Dutch colonies had very little to no room to progress in terms of technology; they were already the best equipped and best organized European Empire in Asia, while all of their rivals had enormous room of potential to catch up on while already having a strong influence in their respective corners. This meant that the Dutch had to invest new human resources directly if they wished to re-energize the VOC and its dominions, in direct opposition to the Portuguese who, meanwhile, while also suffering from human logistics, had tons of options to explore in how to improve Timor (especially when using the Dutch model as basis).

This meant colonial development in established settlements was hitting a ceiling and was thus expensive and narrow-minded, meaning Batavia would have to pursue the classic option of annexing territories. What this also meant, however, was that the Netherlands were growing overextended; the same curse that hit Portugal 100 years earlier, and that during wartime an expansion effort would be counterproductive instead of promising.

To counter Dutch fears of stepping beyond their possibilities, however, was the witnessing the armament of their rivals. Throughout the 1770s, the VOC learned of Goan exportations of weaponry to Portuguese colonies, namely Northern Mozambique, Lisbon itself, Macau and Timor. They also learned of increased religious institution size and action in these territories and analyzed all of this as a sign of Portuguese intentions to expand and develop aggressively. In 1778,[1] the Portuguese finally declared their small colony as a ‘province’ after the influx of a knowledge pool of scientists interested in cataloguing Timorese botany as well as money lent by the LCC for development, which they managed to pay back as early as 1780, and this proved the turning point to Dutch caution, which was thrown to the wind and it was decided Kupang would be settled by Dutch merchants to put a stop to this.

This act of infringement on previous Luso-Dutch demarcations was a direct offense to Lisbon, who continuously demanded throughout the following two years the pushing of the 1661 Hague Treaty clause that established Timor as Portuguese. The Dutch counter-argued that the treaty provisioned only East Timor for Portugal, and not an inch more to the west and, considering the context of the Three-Years War, they hardly felt the Portuguese had the means to force the Dutch out.

Frustrated, the Portuguese India Company requested government assistance and King Joseph II ordered the Army Ministry to accelerate the build-up of the Indic Army’s divisions stationed at Timor, whose development had been continuously delayed throughout the 1760s and 1770s due to far more pressing concerns in India itself (like the Luso-Mysore and the Luso-Maratha Wars). Despite strenuous efforts, the ongoing war with the Franco-Maratha threat and the sheer distance, in 1781 the 1st Dili Brigade finally reached the 2,400 active organized men benchmark (which discounted any extra troop lying aside as reserves to maintain professional standards from Lippe’s reforms), a dedicated force that albeit very effective relatively to its size was capped in numbers to due extraordinary supply difficulties that characterized Timor, being an extreme-peripheral territory.

The Governor of Timor, Lourenço de Brito Correia, still paraded these troops in Dili as a demonstration of force before garrisoning them in the forts and ports in separate Battalions and Companies to ensure a balance of quick response and gathering in case of emergency, at the same time while building up reserves and defenses. This was a deliberate message to the Dutch to back off from any potential attack on Timor.


The 1st Dili Brigade
This land fighting force of 2,400 men was formed in 1777 and was the first organized professional military unit stationed at Timor, as well as the only one intended to stay in the area due to supply limitations

Request for assistance were sent to other Portuguese provinces. In April 1781, Portuguese Goa prepared a reinforcement squadron, but due to the province being occupied with the Portuguese-Maratha War of 1780, the viceroy of Goa only managed to spare a Portuguese Naval fleet of six ships out of the dozens it possessed.

This effort was completely ignored, however, and Kupang’s growth continued. In retaliation, Governor Correia began inciting allied natives or just enemies of the Dutch to attack their settlements. The year ended with tensions between the VOC and Timor at an all-time high.


Effective War Outbreak & The ‘Piranha Campaign’ (1782)


The months that will follow will be crucial. I will stay here and do my battles in India, but you must go to the Spice Islands and Timor where the enemy will undoubtedly make their move against us when war breaks out. You’ll know they will be after us once Batavia’s ships sail out. By the time you return, if god willing, these waters will be ours. If not, total annihilation will be all left to greet you.
-VA Rebelo’s orders to RA William Távora in Colombo, which set off the infamous Piranha Campaign

In 1780, over trade issues regarding the American Revolutionary War, the British declared war on the Dutch starting Fourth Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch sent soldiers to the Dutch East Indies to protect them from British attack but instead the governor of the Dutch East Indies used these soldiers to counter-colonize the Spice Islands and India against Anglo-Luso possessions. Starting in the month of November 1780, the Kupang enclave was established in southwestern Timor and the VOC fleet was building up forces and operation plans for a grand assertion of power.

By January 1782, the Anglo-Dutch War outbreak had spread to Sumatra, where Dutch settlements began acting against British merchants and Fort Marlborough. With the situation in Dutch India taking a turn for the worse, the VOC fleet mobilized itself from Bavaria and began an all-out offensive against the British, seizing merchant ships and blockading outposts. With the news of Vice-Admiral Rebelo’s soft blockade on Dutch Malabar-Ceylon, however, it became known to Bavaria that negotiations in Europe had declared hostilities between Lisbon and Amsterdam, turning Timor into an enemy as well.

This was the perfect opportunity for the VOC to finally establish its monopoly and eliminate all enemy fronts but one, so its fleet moved out en force against all enemy possessions in the area in March 1782. Gathering forces from Surambaya and Bavaria, its three-folded attack sailed northwest through both sides of the Sumatra Island, covering Padang defensively and intercepting a British fleet just off the coast of Malacca, where in a fierce naval battle the VOC successfully defeated the British naval vanguard, fighting off their main enemy.



Bombardment of Marlborough & Battle of Malacca Strait
The Dutch bravely fought off the British from entering the South East Asia with their naval force on March and laid siege to their HQ, but it remained to be seen if they could checkmate all their foes

In the opposite direction, a small Dutch naval detachment sailed to Dili and blockaded Portugal’s main port, completely trapping the Iberians, and military help was sent to Kupang to reinforce the settlers and Dutch claims to West Timor.


Anglo-Dutch/Luso-Dutch War – Indonesia Theater – Early Phase
By March 1782, the Dutch successfully intercepted the British at the Malacca Strait and checkmated the Portuguese settled in Timor

Portuguese Timor depended significantly on its connections with the outside, so a blockade even if flimsy, was hurtful. The military option taken was to make use of the reserves built up in the latest decade to outlast the situation and send out the reinforcements sent from Goa before the Dutch could hunt them down. It seemed as if, for now, the Dutch would prevail in S.E.A. even if Dutch India was doomed.

That is, until April, when the HMS Barracuda was spotted leading a double squadron of two Second-Rates and six Third-Rates just off the coast of Aceh.



HMS Barracuda sailing past the Aceh Peninsula
William’s return to South East Asia heralded the dark years of the VOC and a shift in the tide of the war

The Dutch were no strangers to the pirate William ‘Piranha’ Távora and neither were the Spice Islands; between 1779 and early 1781 the corsair had been the bane of Europeans and natives alike, assaulting port to port in a constant, unending raid and gaining infamy by battling rival pirates off the coast of China. Now he was a privateer at the personal service of Vice-Admiral ‘Hammershark’ Rebelo and news seemed to suggest his ships carried some sort of fire-based new weapon which he used to harass Struffen’s ships with.

The stronger side of the Dutch western offensive which defeated the British sailed on to attempt to intercept any incoming enemy, but William, acting independently from Rebelo, took his double squadron of eight ships down the Padang side of the island, where he met with the weaker division of the western front. At the 1782 Battle of Padang, William met, ambushed and crushed the enemy division of just five warships, who had been sent out this route more as a recon force and was therefore unprepared to meet a serious force that could outpace them (William’s ships were characteristically weaker but faster than those of the British, against which the Dutch were preparing for).



Battle of Padang (1782)
‘Piranha’ ambushed the Dutch offensive and defeated it in battle, securing the entrance of Portuguese reinforcements through the southern side of Sumatra

Realizing that they faced a dangerous force, the squadron attempted to retreat, but Piranhas faster ships overwhelmed them in numbers and speed and all five ships were captured. In what would become a precedent to the following months, William ordered the captured ships to be raided for all their supplies, the captured sailors to be left ashore and the Dutch flags taken.

With the way open to reinforce Timor, William instead took a daring chance and sailed through the Java-Sumatra Strait straight through the enemy’s core territory (Batavia scouts reported seeing the Dutch-flagged Portuguese ships sailing back not but 50 miles off Batavia), before taking a sharp turn up the straight for the Malaysia-Sumatra passage, where Dutch Malacca was attacked in April. Using the captured Dutch flags to sail undetected, William assaulted a number of native kingdoms to incite wrath against his enemies before sneaking up to Malacca. In a battle lasting two days, the Marines of the Piranha squadrons bombarded, assaulted and raided the Dutch fort, taking casualties but also vital supplies and hits to the Dutch morale and control over the region.



William’s Maneuver & Raid of Malacca (1782)
William ruthlessly raided the Dutch fort at Malacca to weaken their base in the crucial strait and used captured VOC flags to both sneak up on Dutch possessions and attack their neighboring natives to weaken their control

This incited the Dutch’s western front to pull back, but with the British ahead they could not afford to turn their tails and the VOC’s western fleet as a whole was thrown in a state of disarray. Meanwhile, Dili’s squadron continued to sail past Timor’s southern coasts to escape the VOC’s core forces, all in the meanwhile attempting to establish contact with any allies. William was aware that Dili possessed this squadron and that it would be wise to meet up with it somehow, but with no way to coordinate positions, both forces acted mostly on their own. The 1st Dili Brigade also continued to resist the blockade back in the Portuguese Timor capital, warding off amphibious invasions and attempting to plan a counterattack.


Luso-Dutch War – Mid Phase

Knowing from his raid on Malacca that the Dutch stronger western front was now very likely to pull back and pursue him, William immediately shifted direction back to Java and initiated his most daring operation yet; the continuous, unabated and relentless raiding of the entire northern Dutch Java coast as he made his way to Timor. From March to approximately early June, William mercilessly attacked the heart of the VOC, using his veteran Marines and their training in sea-to-land combat to approach the colonies, destroy or capture the enemy ships and finally assault the land itself and, as recorded by the Dutch, ‘vengefully and shamefully plunder anything not nailed to the ground before burning everything else’.

The most infamous of these attacks were the ones executed on Batavia and Surabaya themselves, the biggest cities in Dutch Java. In Batavia (Jakarta), William did not pierce through significantly due to the strong defenses in the city, but the ships stationed in the port, whether belonging to the VOC or to private citizens, were blasted and burned until rendered useless before the town itself was set on fire with rockets. The city of Batavia itself was heavily fortified, so a profitable naval attack should be impossible, but William’s ships were armed with the new sea-based rockets he experimented with against Struffen in India and the main buildings of the city, including Governor General Willem Alting’s office, were struck and set on fire with overhead bombardment.



Battle & Burning of Jakarta (1782)
Described as ‘Chinese’ arms on the right image, William’s weaponry demonstrated the possibility to bombard previously unassailable positions and was a core part of his brutal assault on Java Island

William’s underhanded methods continued, allowing him to sustain an otherwise logistically impossible campaign, and at the end of April he repeated his feet on the city of Surabaya and even went as far as kidnapping Han Chan Piet, a Chinese magnate stationed in the city who was important to Dutch colonial administration. In the meantime, in Timor, the 1st Dili Brigade’s scouts made contact with the Dili naval squadron on the southern coast of the island, where the Portuguese were able to make sure their Timorese forces were still intact, and together formulated a plan to counter-attack the Dutch blockade not by striking the enemy navy, which was too powerful, but by capturing the Dutch settlement of Kupang.

Portraying the Dutch settlers as invaders, the First Dili Brigade was able to mobilize approximately 1,000 native allies and, after leaving a sizeable garrison at Dili to hold the fort, traveled together with the Dili Squadron down the island and conducted a land-sea pronged attack on the settlement. At the time Kupang was already minimally fortified, but the Bluecoat troops were too well armed and organized for a small factory to resist for too long. Armed with cannons, a minimal horse regiment and naval assistance, the force countered William’s methods, however, and offered the Kupang settlers the option to surrender. By July 1782, after two failed attempts to sail out that resulted in the defeat of the Dutch defenders and their allies, the Kupang governor accepted the offer to surrender in exchange for the settlers to be spared.



Capture of Kupang (July)
The Portuguese attacked the small outpost from land and sea and pressed the local governor to surrender peacefully

The capture of Kupang was an important victory as, together with Lifau and Dili, this made the main island of Timor mostly unable to be colonized by any new arriving settlers not loyal to Portugal by controlling all important disembarking points facing the west. This, however, did not change the situation at Dili, where reserves were growing thin. Meanwhile the stronger bulk of the VOC fleet pursued William, who hasted towards Timor to unite with any surviving Portuguese forces.


2nd Luso-Dutch War – Late Phase
The main VOC fleet returned from Sumatra and continued to pursue William as he assaulted their possessions while fighting in Timor continued in a tense back-and-forth of sieges

The conflict in the East Indies reached its climax in the summer of 1782, as the siege of Dili began to approach a Dutch success and the VOC core fleet started to finally catch up with William. Planning to raid the Kupang settlement for supplies, William turned south and met with the Dili squadron, finding a captured Kupang. Acting under command from Vice-Admiral Rebelo and bringing countless Dutch flags and the loot of his raids to boast his successes, William was able to secure command over a united naval force of approximately 12 organized warships and planned to begin a grand counter attack to first break the blockade of Dili and then attempt to defeat the bulk of the VOC forces, which still outnumbered them.

The three squadrons sailed north, leaving the 1st Dili Brigade and its Timorese allies to maintain control over Dutch Kupang, and initially planned to go straight to Dili to relieve the siege. They fell, however, into a Dutch trap; knowing the Dili squadron had escaped, the force blockading Dili entered in contact with the VOC bulk fleet pursuing William and headed for Kupang, where they calculated the privateer was going to attack.


[1] See Section: Rebirth of Empire (Part 2 of 2) – The Last years of Pombal (1777 – 1782) – Ministry of Navy & Colonial Affairs – Flores & Timor Province Reform & Scientific Exploration.
Note:
After the collapse of the Nantes Negotiations the Portuguese found themselves at war once again, this time against Portuguese Arch nemeses the Dutch who had used the Iberian Union to steal a huge part of Portugal's India and East Indies. It was only through sheer determination that Brazil and not all of Portuguese Indian and East Indies possessions were lost but what had been left was a mere shadow. Now almost 150 years later the hard won new acquisitions by sheer guts and blood were once again at risk. The Dutch seeing the Portuguese as the weaker of the two empires it was fighting decided to go against the Portuguese before trying to take on the British. How will the Portuguese fare? Will we again have loses and despair or will this be Portugal's time for revenge and retribution?

We now move to the Dutch stronghold of the Dutch East Asia, where the Dutch it seemed were on the verge of capturing Portugal's Timor which was able to hold out but completely isolated. That was till the Portuguese navy sailed out of the Indian Ocean and started doing their thing against the Dutch, it seems that everything is going in Portugal way but we still have the majority of the Dutch navy operating close to Timor and it is larger than the Portuguese fleet, can William overcome these odds and defeat the Dutch? We will need to wait for the next installment. Questions/Comments

Please return on June 28 as we post the 4th part in
The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) -The Second Luso-Dutch War (1782-1783).
 
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I can't help but admire the Portuguese for their constant daring. Dutch Java will be smarting after so much damage. I can see the Dutch spending a lot of money trying to repair their assets once the war is over. And all this for lowly Timor? Not sure its worth it for the Dutch but than again I doubt that they expected to have so much trouble against Portugal during this war.
 
Even at sea the Portuguese use "guerrilla" warfare and with success, nice thinking on Piranha's part, let's see if he frees Dili.

Seems the Dutch are biting more than what they can chew...wonder how they will end this war...
 
I can't help but admire the Portuguese for their constant daring. Dutch Java will be smarting after so much damage. I can see the Dutch spending a lot of money trying to repair their assets once the war is over. And all this for lowly Timor? Not sure its worth it for the Dutch but than again I doubt that they expected to have so much trouble against Portugal during this war.
Yeah, maybe the VOC should have invested in the eastern Indonesia rather.

Speaking of the region, how is New Holland doing?
 

Lusitania

Donor
I can't help but admire the Portuguese for their constant daring. Dutch Java will be smarting after so much damage. I can see the Dutch spending a lot of money trying to repair their assets once the war is over. And all this for lowly Timor? Not sure its worth it for the Dutch but than again I doubt that they expected to have so much trouble against Portugal during this war.
The situation of the Dutch is similar to iotl. Nothing the Portuguese have done till now has really impacted the Dutch neither positivity or negativity (they basically have ignored what the Portuguese had done. Granted majority of Portuguese expansion. Has been outside their areas of control and power. Even Timor was in a more remote part of the Dutch East Indies with them having their territory north of Timor. Not that they have not noticed what the Portuguese were doing but were too busy with their own thing.

Now we have VOC being forced to consider the Portuguese a military threat rather than just an adversary.

Like iotl the VOC is on a downward trend with costs increasing but revenue not increasing due to competition. So now it is facing more competition and increased expenses. Therefore unless it can removed Portugal its future is more bleak than iotl.

As we can see the a Dutch can’t be everywhere and the damage the Portuguese are doing is immense.

Even at sea the Portuguese use "guerrilla" warfare and with success, nice thinking on Piranha's part, let's see if he frees Dili.

Seems the Dutch are biting more than what they can chew...wonder how they will end this war...
Yeah, maybe the VOC should have invested in the eastern Indonesia rather.

Speaking of the region, how is New Holland doing?
The issue as I mentioned before is that VOC just did not have the resources to build up its forces to deal with both the British and Portuguese. Even if it did have greater resources at its disposal there no guarantee it would of spent those resources in military actions that would of made them stronger against both Portuguese and British it could of just easily spent it on expanding its presence and subduing native groups.
 
At this point i imagine that a large majority of the Portuguese Marines are some of the most combat tested and veteran troops in the world.
 
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